01 November, 2004

Hail & Farewell

...you don't have to go home but you can't stay here....

The world bursts into color; turn, turn, everywhere brilliant glory dazzles.

I've been outside, enjoying the weather, topless, instead of inside writing about it.

Final Weekend was heartbreaking in its ordinaryness. I cross the site and hear bagpipes. A figure dances onstage with The Rogues. Black wings bounce as white socks describe intricate patterns: it is Patron Girl, who's grown all up, and her cleavage bounces a counterpoint to her wings.

I do not pick up Martin from the train station, as he's arrived by car with his friend Izzy and Izzy's helium-voiced son, Kit. Jen-less, John-less and Kynan-less, I put the newcomers into the spare bedroom, leaving the basement to Martin and Hilby. We caravan together to the site on Saturday. It's grey and heavy.

"Are you sad that it's ending?" I can't count how many people pose this question. Yes and no. Nine weekends is a long time for the kids. No, nine weekends isn't long enough for me, but since I can't choose the weather, in all honesty, I'd rather not perform outdoors past the end of October. It's been a good run, and I have no regrets.

Saturday night sees me limping around the house, unable to put weight on my ankle. Weather is moving again, and I wish it didn't bother me so, but as I've said before, I'm grateful to be able to complain.

Sunday is rainy at the outset. We decide to go on stilts rather than in white to begin our day, but as it's chilly and our makeup is stiff, by the time we troop out, the drizzle has stopped. I see a person- closer to age 50 than age 5- wearing a Tigger suit and two Klingons before I realize that it is the annual Day of Wrong. Dorothy appears in a hoop skirt. A girl raises an ordinary skirt to reveal platform, spikeheeled lace-up thigh-high boots in shiny patent leather. Several men wear wigs and bodices. Five people are dressed as Emrys Fleet, the ratcatcher, who ended his time with us last weekend. A woman is the Queen of Hearts in a period style costume. Martin goes crazy and allows himself to be photographed in the same frame as us when we accidentally cross paths.

I plan to visit Shannon in the hairbraiding booth that would be competition for Gracie, were it not for the fact that there is plenty of business for everyone. She asked last week, "When are you going to let me do your hair?" "Oh, yes," agrees Ginny. "Those hairbraiding girls, they see a woman with hair like yours and clutch each other in excitement, saying 'Look, look! Oh, what I could do with that!'" Hmmm.

I convince That Girl, who is in Whiny Mode, that it would be wonderful to not only end our day, but our entire season, in the white outfits. She is reluctant, and doesn't want to get on her stilts again. "I'll do stilts, you herd the children." She finds this a fair trade. The grounds are slick and will cover us with dark brown earthy goodness, but since the costumes need washing anyway...

At four, That Girl and F&F are done in by the damp and the chill and are ready for leaving. I have half an hour left on my contract, so I go out alone in the white cloak to bid the patrons farewell. They seem to have no idea that I'm doing this. I pass Ken's Brother, who does know. He says, "See you in fourty-two weeks."


(Closing Time; Semisonic, from the Feeling Strangely Fine CD)

No comments: